Some divorces are more amicable than others, but is not uncommon for couples to disagree with each other as they go through a divorce. If they were seeing eye-to-eye on everything, they would most likely not be going through a divorce at all. There are a lot of serious issues to discuss in divorce, and the resolution of these issues can have long-term consequences for everyone involved. Some of the most contentious and emotionally charged disputes in divorce involve child custody.
Both parents may want to spend as much time as possible with their children. Some parents could also think that the other parent is irresponsible or not able to handle the responsibilities of raising a child without help. If the parents are unable to reach agreements on the issues of custody and parenting time, then judges must make the decisions for the parents.
Factors used to determine best interests of children
If judges are required to make these decisions, they will make the decision based on what is in the best interests of the children. Judges will analyze which parent best provides love, affection, guidance and care for the children. They will look at whether there is domestic violence within the home or whether one parent abuses alcohol or drugs. A parent’s willingness and ability to encourage the children’s relationship with the other parent is also important.
The general character of the parents is important too. Judges will look at the reputation of the parents, their work history and whether they were previously convicted of crimes. They will also look at the environment at each parent’s home and each parent’s ability to provide financially for the basic needs of the children. If the child is of suitable age, the wishes of the child will also factor into the decision.
Custody and visitation decisions in Arkansas can be some of the most difficult parts of a divorce for parents. Parents do not like the idea of not having their children with them every day. While they may understand that is no longer a possibility, it does not make it any easier on them. However, the decision needs to be made based on the best interests of the children given their new situation. Experienced attorneys understand how custody determinations are made and may be a useful resource.